Meetup #10: In the heat of the moment

Because new faces join every meet up – which is, in the end, the idea behind TPM – founder Marnix started off the evening with a short introduction of TPM’s mission and introduced the members of the team. As a company, you can only use the Impact Hub if your mission supports one of the Sustainable Development Goals. In the case of TPM, this is SDG 10: reduced inequalities.

And that is exactly what Diederick van der Wijk and Laura de Santolo from Forward Incubator (previously Refugees Forward) work towards. They believe that integration of newcomers and statusholders starts with economic independence. Through an incubator program and a network of corporates, experienced entrepreneurs and students, they assist newcomers in setting up their own business. And this has proven pretty successful: in a short time already 26 businesses were founded and 18 people have become self-sufficient!

‘Not having a future perspective means a waste of talent’, explains Diederick. ‘We cannot solve the big problems, but people arriving in a new country run into all sorts of complex rules of the system. And we can help with that!’

After this introduction, from the back of the room Anas Ragheb - partaker in the Forward Incubator program of 2018 in Amsterdam – spoke up. He told us how he helps newcomers who don’t speak any Dutch to get the required licensing for their enterprises. Truck drivers, for example. Those present wanted to hear all about it, what a great initiative!

Anas’ story was a good icebreaker for the main event of the evening. Forward Incubator needs 650,000 euros to scale up. Their question to the audience: what should our proposition towards corporates be to make sure they get on board?

Immediately everyone started racking their brains, as everyone wanted to come up with the best idea – as the prize for the winning idea was a beautiful sketch by Saèd Fanari. But nobody had to go home empty-handed this evening, as all teams were offered a discount voucher for XO Keuken, the catering company from participant Motaz Alabasi.

The planned Q&A was collectively dismissed: everyone was already focused on the brainstorm. Within half an hour 5 pitches were proudly presented: ranging from traineeships and consultancy by entrepreneurs to the opportunity for corporates to become launching partners. Or ideas focused on highlighting the benefits of cooperation with newcomers – access to new markets, or the prevention of burn outs for employees by creating purpose. Team Yellow came up with the winning idea: making investing and gaining knowledge interesting under the slogan ‘work it forward’. Good job!

At this time everyone had cooled down and the wine came out, while all the other pitches were further thought through. Plans were made for a follow up session (Present PowerSession) to further explore the winning idea. Marnix found a moment to get everyone excited for the next meetup, with foundation Klabu. See you next time!

A massive thank you to the team, family members and present movers for their energy, training, organisation, photo’s, bites, drinks (you know who you are!), the founders of Forward Incubator and all present!

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